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Old 01-18-2011, 10:18 AM
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When the sport abandoned rough water marathons, it killed itself. We were as guilty as anyone early on because we wanted to highlight the speed capability of our cats. But the bottom line is that as long as the sport continues to put big boats on small boat courses with unlimited size, power and speed, it will always run away from the essential competition that makes a motorsport interesting and exciting. Anyone who encourages and supports this unrestricted model, regardless of budget or intent, will continue to injure an already critical patient.

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Old 01-18-2011, 10:19 AM
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SkaterDave,

You are confusing the technology with the success of the racing circuit when it comes to Class 1. Qatar raced here last year because the team was disenchanted with Class 1. The Steve Curtis quote in my story supports that. Whatever benefit Qatar brought to the states last year was born out of frustration with things overseas.

But don't ask me. Ask Steve Curtis. And ask if the problems they have in UIM Class 1 are new. Ask John Tomlinson.

Despite how spectacular it is, UIM Class 1 has suffered from all of the same problems we have right here. Spending wars. Ridiculous costs. Politics. Massive owner egos. Infighting. Fragmentation. Technical rule and safety issue. More than once, UIM Class 1 has found itself on the verge of collapse.

In the mid-1990s, I had the privilege of sitting in on a Class 1 team owners meeting. You think we have ego problems with team owners here? And by all accounts, or at least the accounts of the few racers I know, it hasn't gotten any better.

I cannot comment intelligently on X-Cat, but I can comment on UIM Class 1. And if you think it presents a workable model we should emulate here, you're kidding yourself. Its current state, and its history, just don't support that.

There is one area in which UIM Class 1 does provide a model for the U.S. community to emulate: the professionalism of its race teams. That's worth noting.

Last, if you're honestly suggesting that the Miss Geico team did anything resembling a disservice to offshore racing, I respectfully (but strongly) have to disagree. I, too, wish they'd done something with Super Cat, but that's not what the team owner wanted. Regardless, AMF Racing and Geico helped keep the sport alive.

IMO, The one thing Class One, and X-Cat have over the U.S. Org is simple. One Class, Not 15 Classes with 14 Different winners. I have had the chance to attend a Class 1 and X-cat race. And It was top notch, upon arriving my POC Nigel Quiltter set me up with media credentials, and promptly told me to go to the Hospitality tent, If I needed any thing let him know.

The Pits, where more than anything I have ever seen in the states, on test day they Actually have time trials, for pole position. and when the racing starts, there is only one class out on the water!!!!!
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:34 AM
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IMO, The one thing Class One, and X-Cat have over the U.S. Org is simple. One Class, Not 15 Classes with 14 Different winners. I have had the chance to attend a Class 1 and X-cat race. And It was top notch, upon arriving my POC Nigel Quiltter set me up with media credentials, and promptly told me to go to the Hospitality tent, If I needed any thing let him know.

The Pits, where more than anything I have ever seen in the states, on test day they Actually have time trials, for pole position. and when the racing starts, there is only one class out on the water!!!!!
Bingo....That's a big part of the issue, and the races need to be longer, rougher, and (as a result) slower to levelize the playing field and give the lower budget teams more of a fighting chance.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:51 AM
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T2x - I remember just a couple short years ago the #1 complaint from FANS was how little they actually saw during a race. 3 or 4 quick passes by and that was it. Your marathons are great for racers but horrible for making it marketable.

The cities pay the biggest chunk of change for a race so of course they want the best show possible to keep the MASSES coming back.

A race series needs to decide are they catering to the old school racers or the fans? HORBA is putting on three marathons as you requested. Be interesting to see who shows up.

If anyone thinks these short courses are a breeze I'd like to see you take some of the tight turns these racers have to make. For me its just a different style of racing and every bit as technical. Not to mention there are still a handful of big water race sites depending on what series you run (and weather conditions) - Ocean City, Orange Beach, Key West, Sarasota, etc etc.

Tough to see thru all the agendas and negativity on this site, but I have had a blast at every race I've attended - as a fan or a racer. Thanks and appreciation to all the hardwork everyone has done
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:51 AM
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And is it just me or are the boats racing overseas some of the ugliest boats out there?





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Old 01-18-2011, 10:54 AM
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We are less than a full month into 2011 and there are at least 3 new racing possibilites on the horizon for John Tomlinson. Only time will tell just exactly where he will be dropping the throttles this year. He could be going for the 2011 Class 1 title as well as racing here stateside, so stay tuned here to get the latest on his racing plans for the 2011 season. This is from TNT's website. Undoubtedly, JT must not think there is very much wrong with Class 1 racing?
John Tomlinson also raced at the Key Worlds this year, as he has in many other years. Does that mean he "does not think there is very much wrong" with SBI racing?

My point is that Tomlinson, a friend and colleague, races where people pay him to race. If he's not getting paid, he's not in the cockpit. It is that simple. So his participation does not constitute an endorsement.

But I'll tell you what: I have to talk with him today for a story (and some logistical travel stuff in February) so I'll ask him exactly what he thinks. He's an honest guy who speaks his mind.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:56 AM
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Bingo....That's a big part of the issue, and the races need to be longer, rougher, and (as a result) slower to levelize the playing field and give the lower budget teams more of a fighting chance.
Absolutely, 100 percent agree on streamlining classes.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:27 AM
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matt, i'm not confused. please go back and reread my post. pete B picked up on it right away. i do agree with you on the what seems to be unstainable costs for the C1 teams. it's a pretty well know fact that Team Victory spends something like $80 million a year compared to Qatar which spends something like $4 million. from what ive read they are trying to fix that problem.

but really look at C1 overall, that series has been around longer than any organiization here in the states. There was always set rules. and their the only organization that has really put any effort in to safety with the new rules concerning the canopies. that rule also applied to X-cat.

then as for asking curtis or JT, first off they both steer clear of this stuff, but i think their actions speak louder than words. JT although he does races with CRC here in the states has been jumping back in C1 and i think we'll see both him, curtis and Team Qatar back in C1 this up coming year. whats that say about things in the US, Qatar did one year here and left. i think that was more of a powerplay between them and the ruling body of C1. let's be honest, Qatar had no real competition here and basically used this year as a giant test. just seeing that team in person was impressive. they are truely at another level.

now as for AMF and geico keeping the sport alive???????? agian i'll agree that yes they did positive things that helped the overall sport stay alive, basically threw some money around and that they do non profit type work. but that goes with the territory when you have a giant corporate sponsor like geico. but there was always a catch to these good deeds which directly served their own egos.

but can you pin point facts that would show that offshore racing has been made better or improved since amf's arrival?
thats the part that irratates me. i here the same thing every year, "we'll continue on our path and if someone build a 4 million dollar turbine we'll be ready to race them". thats exactly what marc and you are complaining about with C1.

that s complete crap. it solves nothing and worse it has offshore in this stalemate situtation where these one boat per class egomaniacs say the same stupid crap and point the finger at everyone else.

too first fix a problem one must realize the problem. it seems to me that most of these top tier racers just put on a smiley face and like the fact that they get a trophy at every race.

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Old 01-18-2011, 11:44 AM
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matt, i'm not confused. please go back and reread my post. pete B picked up on it right away. i do agree with you on the what seems to be unstainable costs for the C1 teams. it's a pretty well know fact that Team Victory spends something like $80 million a year compared to Qatar which spends something like $4 million. from what ive read they are trying to fix that problem.

but really look at C1 overall, that series has been around longer than any organiization here in the states. There was always set rules. and their the only organization that has really put any effort in to safety with the new rules concerning the canopies. that rule also applied to X-cat.

then as for asking curtis or JT, first off they both steer clear of this stuff, but i think their actions speak louder than words. JT although he does races with CRC here in the states has been jumping back in C1 and i think we'll see both him, curtis and Team Qatar back in C1 this up coming year. whats that say about things in the US, Qatar did one year here and left. i think that was more of a powerplay between them and the ruling body of C1. let's be honest, Qatar had no real competition here and basically used this year as a giant test. just seeing that team in person was impressive. they are truely at another level.

now as for AMF and geico keeping the sport alive???????? agian i'll agree that yes they did positive things that helped the overall sport stay alive, basically threw some money around and that they do non profit type work. but that goes with the territory when you have a giant corporate sponsor like geico. but there was always a catch to these good deeds which directly served their own egos.

but can you pin point facts that would show that offshore racing has been made better or improved since amf's arrival?
thats the part that irratates me. i here the same thing every year, "we'll continue on our path and if someone build a 4 million dollar turbine we'll be ready to race them". thats exactly what marc and you are complaining about with C1.

that s complete crap. it solves nothing and worse it has offshore in this stalemate situtation where these one boat per class egomaniacs say the same stupid crap and point the finger at everyone else.

too first fix a problem one must realize the problem. it seems to me that most of these top tier racers just put on a smiley face and like the fact that they get a trophy at every race.
I did not "complain" about Class 1. I said it has the same problems we have here. It does.

Regarding JT: He's a hired gun. (I say that as his friend). He goes where he's paid to go. And once again, Curtis said Qatar came here because they were unhappy over there. He didn't "steer clear" of anything. Refer to his quote in my story. He was pretty candid.

Only an idiot would argue that fewer classes are not better. Few would argue that professionalism among racers is a "bad" thing. UIM Class 1 has both, and that's great. But if you think its rules have been consistent throughout its history, you're incorrect.

You initially drew an analogy between UIM Class 1 and NASCAR (and domestic racing to Kart racing). The analogy doesn't even come close to holding. NASCAR teams and drivers make big money. UIM Class 1 teams and drivers spend big money. UIM Class 1 teams are hobbies for rich man and rich countries and, ironically, the millionaires there complain about "overspending" by the billionaires. (Sound familiar?) The money goes in one direction ... out the door and into the water. As a "business model," UIM Class 1 is not a success.

Neither is domestic offshore racing in any form. No argument here. But the notion that UIM Class 1 has it figured out is simply incorrect.

Like you, SkaterDave, I think AMF/Geico would have been served, and better served the sport with Super Cat entries ... but that is not what the owner wanted. What did they do for the sport? Well, let's start with getting offshore racing back on television. Not the best coverage of all time, but something, right?

Last thing ... I think it's a little presumptuous to ascribe the motivations of Geico's charitable efforts to "the egos" of those involved. Do you actually know the people you're talking about? I do .. and I'd have to politely disagree with you.
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Old 01-18-2011, 04:59 PM
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As promised, I spoke with John Tomlinson today. We had plenty of ground to cover but we spent a lot of time on his Class 1 efforts with the Abu Dhabi team, which hired Tomlinson to throttle a Class 1 boat it leased from the Victory team for three races last season.

Currently in the process of putting together several different proposals for team for the 2011 season, Tomlinson sounded as excited about the prospect of running a full season in Class 1 as I've heard him sound about anything in offshore racing for several years.

His reasons were two-fold. First, he said he likes the rule changes for 2011, which essentially base horsepower and maximum engine speed (rpm) on the size and weight of the boat. The new rules gives the Class 1 competitors several options. Second, he said that Class 1 racing is all business.

"You don't see all the choppers and Lamborghinis (in the pits) like you do here," said Tomlinson. "From the guy who finishes first to the guy in ninth place, everyone races hard. And they're really good."

Tomlinson said that he was untouched by the politics and controversies of the 2011 season. "I was only there for three races," he said.

But while he is hoping to run the full 2011 Class 1 season, it is far from certain that he will as the season opens in April and he is still putting together proposals—one with the possibility of building a new 48 MTI with Sterling engines—for competing in the class.

"If we go with a new boat, I don't think it would be ready for like eight months," he said. "It's all a matter of what the team wants to do and how much money it wants to spend. I told them that with what we have now, we're essentially competing for second place. As long as they know that and are OK with it, I'm OK with it."
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